Okay, I've only recently (3-4 months ago) noticed we had user mhchem around. And yes, my primeval coding "skills" is probably the source of this ignorance.

I recently approved yet another one of user mhchem's edits, and I can't help but notice that all of his proposed edits (or at least, all the ones I find in the review queue) are perfectly acceptable. It's gotten to the point where I can just hit the "approve" edit button (once I see that he's the one who proposed it) without giving the revision more than a cursory glance.

At this point (he has about 1900 rep), it would seem prudent to assume that user mhchem will continue to make constructive edits (if it wasn't obvious already). However, there have been multiple occasions where his edits were held up (> 1 hour) for want of other reviewers.

Yes, I know the whole idea of the rep-linked editing privilege thingy is to make sure that users have found their feet around here before letting them edit with impunity ( "impunity" = "not having to wait ages for someone else's approval"). This was the path all of us (sans the pro tempore Mods) had to follow.

But I'm talking about user mhchem here... from what I gather, the man created mhchem for God's sake. I find it strange that he'd still have to wait it out in the queues.

In short, what I'm getting at is:

User mhchem is an active and responsible user. The longer he takes to hit the 2000 rep (even 3000 rep... we could always use another hand at closing-reopening stuff), the more we stand to lose as a community.

So I've resolved 1 to make a case in favor of Chem.SE's smooth running,

I propose that bounties be placed on any of mhchem's answers here so as to get him to the 2000-3000 rep mark . The bounties need not be placed purely for the sake of inflating mhchem's rep; you should browse through his answers (which incidentally, are all worthy of bounties) and add a bounty on (the question of) any answer you deem worthy of a bounty.

(You can also think of this as me trying to direct everyone's attention to a bunch of good answers, instead of conniving with everyone to inflate someone's rep)

Alternatively, you can choose to upvote answers and questions as well (though this will take a bit longer for him to reach the 2000-3000 rep). As a helpful reminder: just don't go on an upvote spree, the system will recognize it as an "unnatural" inflation of votes and reverse all of it (I have, ahem, "experience" in this matter 2 ... so take my word for it).

Floreat Domus

1. I've been led to believe that meta.chem is quite liberal. Please don't crucify me for this post if it was in bad taste

2. I went through getafix's answers once, decided I liked them all, and went on an upvote spree. At the end of the day, all those votes were withdrawn. Happened a few months after I joined


After reading penta's answer (+ jonsca's and Jan's comments), it suddenly dawned on me that this was a ridiculously crappy idea. Now that I've been made to see light, I won't be pushing for this any more.

End of horror story


1 Answer 1


I disagree, for multiple reasons.

  1. Waiting in the suggested edit queue for > 1 hour is nothing. I have waited far longer (a few days) in the suggested edit queue on other SE sites for equally trivial edits. There cannot be an expectation of getting to every single review queue as soon as stuff appears. I would say the opposite, that this site already has some review hawks.

  2. I have reject-edited his suggested edits multiple times by now, because the edits are incomplete. Yes, some of the typography is improved. However, if you are going to improve the typography of a post, then you should get every instance of \ce{} or \pu{} possible, and see if any other formatting improvements can be made. As you inch closer to 2000 rep, you should have a better understanding of what constitutes a good and/or substantial edit. In my opinion, a $\LaTeX$ package author should know this better than anyone else. In this regard, many of the edits are mostly incomplete.

It's gotten to the point where I can just hit the "approve" edit button (once I see that he's the one who proposed it) without giving the revision more than a cursory glance.

Then you are not doing your duty as a high-rep user of the site. No one's work should be without scrutiny. That is the way science should work.

Ultimately, it doesn't even matter...it's only 84 rep to go.

  • $\begingroup$ (Posting over multiple comments) "Ultimately, it doesn't even matter...it's only 84 rep to go" Well, I was hoping we could bump him all the way up to 3000 (so questions get closed/opened quicker). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ "Then you are not doing your duty as a high-rep user of the site." Bu..but, I am :'( [at the end of the day, I check my review queue history... as far as I recall, all his edits that I've approved , were co-approved by someone else as well. Don't think any of those edits ended up getting rejected] $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ @paracetamol There's no correlation between editing a lot of questions and having enough experience on the site to be "handed" the VTC privilege. I think you're way off the mark here, and this certainly qualifies as "targeted voting" in my book. $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ One hundred times this answer! We need more scrutiny in the suggested edit review queue. And we need people who make good edits. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 3:34
  • $\begingroup$ It’s also not just incompleteness; I seem to remember a case or two where his edits actually made the post worse. Mhchem freely admits that he is no chemist, just somebody with an interest in typography. Thus, he may choose to go down the wrong lane if the symbolism is unclear except with context. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ @jonsca Well, from my observations, there appears to be an empirical correlation between the two (based off my time here... which isn't very long). Admittedly, I am way off the mark (penta's answer made me see light). Objectively speaking, yeah, this was supposed to be "targeted voting" (but I get a feeling that the term carries a very negative connotation in Mod circles). I stand corrected; bad idea on my part O:) $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Jan "Thus, he may choose to go down the wrong lane if the symbolism is unclear except with context." Ugh, that didn't cross my mind. Pretty solid point there. I suppose I was carried away with trying to get another pair of hands help out at the queues. penta made me see light! \o/ $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 3:52
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Reading this feels so weird! $\endgroup$
    – mhchem
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 15:53
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @penta You are right. I did not strive to catch every \ce and \pu. My personal guidelines (that should maybe discussed in a separate thread): 1. Don't add \ce if there are no sub/superscripts (e.g. NaCl). But if it is needed, try to catch all chemistry. 2. Don't add \pu if the units are fine without (e.g. 10 g). But if it is needed, try to catch all units of the same type (e.g. I wouldn't touch "99 %" in text, if just display equations were wrong). After all, every edit box is headed with "Avoid trivial edits". (And I am very glad that fixing typography is not seen as trivial!) $\endgroup$
    – mhchem
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ @mhchem Thank you for your input. This makes a lot of sense considering how anything more than 2-3 small MathJax additions can make a page crawl, which is why I try to avoid making any edit if it will only be 2-3 small additions, and if I think the question is not salvageable. I'm still a little conflicted about what the "correct" way to edit is considering the quality of most questions, but yours is the purest: only add MathJax where it is needed to understand and disambiguate any statements. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 16:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @pentavalentcarbon You give me too much credit. For almost all questions, I cannot judge the content. I assume that a post containing "2H2O" instead of $\ce{2H2O}$ would still be understandable. But it is not correct. So my rule is: If there is wrong chemical typography (like missing subscripts), I correct it. If I have to add one \ce for that, I try to catch all chemistry for consistency. With that, I try to follow your rules that I read here and here. $\endgroup$
    – mhchem
    Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 18:53
  • $\begingroup$ Everybody makes occasional slipups, I personally wouldn't be so harsh so as to reject-edit if there was one or two missing \ce. But I've never gone into the edit queue myself since becoming a mod, so I have no knowledge of the present case. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 26, 2017 at 12:46

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